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Former aide to ex-Illinois lawmaker charged with sending obscene messages to rival state senator

Former state lawmaker's aide charged with harassing rival senator
Former state lawmaker's aide charged with harassing rival senator 00:37

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The onetime top aide to former Illinois State Rep. Tim Ozinga (R-Mokena) has been charged with sending obscene and harassing messages to a rival state senator.

Timothy Pawula, who was Ozinga's chief of staff before Ozinga resigned from the Illinois House last month, has been charged with two counts of harassment through electronic communication, one count of transmission of obscene messages, and one count of obscenity.

Illinois State Police said Sen. Michael Hastings (D-Frankfort) filed a harassment complaint against Pawula, prompting an investigation. The Illinois Attorney General's office later filed charges against Pawula, accusing him of sending harassing messages in November 2022, according to court records.

Available court records did not specify the content of the messages Pawula allegedly sent to Hastings.

In addition to serving as Ozinga's chief of staff, Pawula also was the treasurer for Ozinga's campaign and his political action committee.

Ozinga did not explain his decision to resign when he stepped down in April, but has not been charged in connection with the harassment case against Pawula. It's unclear if he was aware of Pawula's alleged conduct.

Pawula was released from custody on the condition that he attend all future required court hearings. He is due back in court on June 5.

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